40 Best Jobs for College Students – Road to Independence in 2023

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Many college students toil their way through their studies and tuition fees every year. Some students pay for college by themselves with the help of a stable source of income. In many cases, others rely on student loan debt to pursue their education, and some even take breaks from their studies to focus on working.

If you are a student looking to continue your education, you’ll be glad to know that the college setting is teeming with job opportunities. We’re here to give you a rundown of the best jobs for college students, listing them based on different categories.

40 Best Jobs for College Students

The following list could overwhelm you if this is your first time looking for a job. Nevertheless, these options are the most available for college students.

While some choices involve skills you may have developed during high school, others won’t require any work experience. Whatever the case, you can expect to receive some training for your chosen role. We categorized the job opportunities based on the type of work involved, so feel free to jump right at the best fit.

hospitality job, working lady at coffee shop

A. Food, Beverage, and Hospitality Services

The most common and usually the first job options for working students fall under the food, beverage, and hospitality industry. These jobs do not usually require any related work experience, and they can be the choice of many working students, whatever their field of study.

However, if you are taking a degree in hotel and restaurant management or culinary arts, these jobs can lay the groundwork for your training.

1. Barista or Bartender

The term “barista” is an Italian word that translates to “bartender” in English. However, it has become part of the English dictionary. Today, it usually refers to a person working behind a counter, taking orders, and serving non-alcoholic beverages, such as coffee and tea.

On the other hand, bartenders work in clubs and pubs doing the same,  but usually with alcohol in the drinks they serve.

Full-time baristas and bartenders earn around two grand a month, so expect to get lower wages for part-time positions. Sometimes, the tips are even higher than the base salary.

2. Waitstaff

Becoming a waiter or waitress is probably the most common and cliched job for working students. This job does not usually require any experience in casual dining restaurants, as the tasks are limited to taking orders, serving food, and clearing tables.

The average base salaries for this job dwell close to minimum wage, and workers in this sector benefit greatly from customers’ tips.

3. Kitchen Staff

All kitchen personnel includes kitchen porters and line cooks.

The roles of a kitchen porter include essential food preparation, dishwashing, and kitchen sanitation. In simpler arrangements, people tending to this role are typically just called dishwashers.

Compared to kitchen porters, line cooks are in charge of more advanced food preparation techniques. Aside from preparing their own stations, they rely on the help of kitchen porters to arrange supplies, tools, and necessary ingredients.

Line cooks do not receive or share the waitstaff’s tips like kitchen porters and other kitchen staff. Nevertheless, their salaries are considerably higher than those of the servers. However, salaries are better in fine dining restaurants where functions stack on top of each other.

4. Receptionist, Reservationist, or Host

Hotels, restaurants, and similar establishments also employ staff to reserve bookings for and receive guests when they arrive. While becoming a reservationist is usually a back-office job, receptionists and hosts are in the front of the house.

In this type of work, salaries vary depending on the establishment, and employees also usually receive tips.

5. Housekeeper or Cleaner

Students can also turn a profit while studying by spending their free time doing housekeeping and cleaning services. You can become an employee of a hotel or set up an ad for a home-cleaning business.

6. Tour Guide

If you have extensive knowledge of your vicinity, you can work as a tour guide for tourism businesses in the area. While your average hourly wage may sit at around 13 bucks, you can take advantage of cash tips as a bonus.

7. Parking Attendant

Parking attendants are very helpful workers in big and busy establishments. They ensure the smooth and continuous coming and going of traffic.

While basic hourly wages are at a minimum, parking attendants can also receive cash tips. However, technical driving is an important skill for a parking attendant. In most cases, it is even a requirement for the job.

adult man working at computer

B. Jobs Requiring Technical Skills

Technical skills are essential knowledge or abilities for performing practical scientific, mathematical, technological, engineering, and creative tasks. These skills use tools and devices that make users better through years of practice. Tools can be in the form of physical equipment, computer software, and acquired knowledge.

You may have acquired and accumulated employable technical skill sets as early as elementary school. These skills could have improved through middle school and become enforced after high school. As you go into college, your skills can easily become your bread and butter so that you can set up a fund for your college expenses.

8. Administrative Assistant

As an administrative assistant, you will need to perform several administrative tasks like answering phone calls, setting up meetings and travel arrangements, and managing schedules. If you want to get real office work as training for your future career, this position is a good start. In addition, you might want to choose a company that you want to work for as a fresh graduate.

A virtual assistant position is one of the best paying remote jobs for college students. The only difference with being an administrative assistant is that you don’t need to be in an office, as you do all your tasks remotely.

One of the advantages of taking on this job is that many task management software and programs are available for free use.

9. Website Developer, Programmer, or IT Specialist

Computer-savvy students can profit from making websites and software and fixing computer problems. You can bill your clients per hour or on a per-project basis.

10. Bank Teller, Cashier, or Sales Associate

If you have an aptitude for numbers and assisting people, you might want to serve as a bank teller, a grocery cashier, or a sales associate. Expect a basic salary for these types of positions.

11. Driver

Driving, in itself, is a highly technical skill. Not all students can drive, and the practice can be a good source of income for student workers. You can earn money from delivering goods, moving people around, or drive sharing using your vehicle.

12. Mechanic

The local automotive service center can be your source of income if you have extensive knowledge of vehicles and their components. If you don’t mind getting grease on your hands and want to learn more about cars, this might be a good track for you.

13. Warehouse Associate

A warehouse associate has something to do with warehouse organization. You must know something about item inventories and warehouse workflows. In some cases, driving a forklift is also an advantage for this job.

14. Gardener

Do you think you have a green thumb and a knack for landscaping? Turn your gardening skills into an income-generating venture by understanding how to use common garden tools. Also, keep updated about different plant varieties and planting materials.

15. Carpenter

Woodworking is a skill that you can develop early on in high school. If you enjoy building stuff with wood, you can market yourself as an on-call carpenter or custom furniture maker.

16. Painter

One of the most common tasks required to maintain spaces is painting, and you can always expect to find paint job requests in your neighborhood. If you know the materials and equipment needed, you can always accept a paint job to earn some money. Like carpentry, painting jobs are not as frequent as gardening jobs, but the pay can be significantly higher.

17. Tutor or Teacher

You can always use what you already know and earn some money. If you’re good in math, physics, chemistry, or any other field, you can open tutorial classes for your peers on campus. You might also be interested in teaching a foreign language to interested locals or English to international students.

Check the hourly rates of similar private tutoring and teaching services nearby and align your fees accordingly.

18. Transcriptionist, Translator, or Interpreter

Transcribing audio into text and translating the text into a different language is a highly lucrative skill, especially for those working in mass media. In addition, translators or interpreters are very important positions in local embassies and tourist destinations.

19. Customer Service Representative

If you do not have the tools for applying your marketing skills, you can always join a company as a customer service or sales representative. As a CSR, your company will ask you to offer advice for products and services, request customer records updates, and drive sales transactions. You can do these tasks through phone calls, emails, chats, or personal meetings.

20. Errand Runner or Task Completer

As a student, you can get paid to run errands and do almost any task. However, your compensation will depend on how many activities you can accomplish within a given duration.

girl working on computer at home

C. Entrepreneurial Work

College students can overflow with new business venture ideas to help them get through educational expenses. Realizing these ideas is also known as entrepreneurship, and it requires aggregating capital and physical work to profit from producing services and goods.

While entrepreneurship can be a risky endeavor, it can also be very rewarding. Since its primary purpose is income generation through innovation, you will never run out of ideas to get the ball rolling. However, it takes some time and effort before a particular idea gains traction from clients and customers.

21. Affiliate Marketer

Bloggers, social influencers, brand ambassadors, advertisers, marketing managers, and social media managers fall into the affiliate marketer category. Its main purpose is to profit from driving traffic and converting them into sales for brands and companies.

Thousands of companies offer affiliate marketing programs for even students to grab and turn into a source of income.

22. Dropshipper

Dropshipping refers to a form of retail business wherein you, as a business owner, accept customer orders and facilitate the shipping of products. As a dropshipper, you don’t have to keep a physical inventory, and you can do all tasks remotely.

23. Retail Arbiter

Retail arbitrage refers to purchasing products from local stores and reselling them online for profit. Unlike dropshipping, you will need space for a physical inventory of products to flip.

24. Financial Trader

Financial trading is a high-risk, high-income investment venture. You will need some capital to trade and a trading platform. With all the available financial trading platforms online, you can choose one or several applications that suit your needs best.

In this business, you should know something about reading market trends and the fluctuating values of trade goods. You can trade in foreign currency, stocks, bonds, rare metals, and cryptocurrency.

The good thing about being a financial trader is that you can do business in your own time and place.


D. Creative Work

For students in the creative sector, turning a profit from doing what they love is a great perk, especially when they need to make money. However, most jobs under this criteria typically begin as freelance work, which means the income is unstable. Clients will come and go sporadically, and profits vary all the time.

If you want to go through this path, we suggest learning how to put yourself out there through marketing. Create a portfolio of your most important works, and curate an online marketplace for all the finished artwork you want to sell. This way, your work can be accessible to more customers.

Here are some of the college student jobs that require doing much creative work:

25. Mural Artist and Graphic Designer

  • For fine arts and visual communications students

26. Creative Writer

  • For those who can write novels, short stories, children’s books, instructional materials, online blogs, and the like

27. Stage or Space Designer

  • For architecture and interior design students

28. Film Editor

  • For those who want to enter the film industry

29. Photographer

  • For those who want to capture and sell still images

30. Music Producer

  • For those who want to create any music score for any application

31. Content Creator

Content creators include freelance writers, video bloggers, graphic designers, music producers, musicians, dancers, and anyone with a creative background. They can get paid to do what they love while producing quality material.

However, a content creator’s disadvantage is that profits vary across different income sources. Still, content creators are affiliate marketers’ number one resource of promotional materials.

teen caregiver

E. Care and Wellness Work

Students taking up medicine and sports education can benefit from new job experiences related to care and wellness. They will get a stable source of income, and they will also get to practice what they learn from school. In addition, students will get hands-on training, which is sometimes not available in the classroom.

Nonetheless, care and wellness jobs are also available to those with a background in related fields. If you have chosen a different path in college, you can still take advantage of the training you have accumulated through high school.

32. Senior Caregiver

  • Tending to the daily necessities of elderly people

33. Massage Therapist

  • Performing therapeutic massages on clients to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and relieve stress, pain, and injuries
  • Requires some training

34. Dental Assistant

  • Working at a dental clinic

35. Orderly

  • Experiencing the hospital setting firsthand

36. Animal Caretaker

  • Dog walking, pet sitting, pet grooming, and the like

37. Babysitter or Nanny Jobs

  • Tending to babies’ or children’s needs as guardians while parents are away

38. Summer Camp Counselor

  • Organizing young camp participants

39. Swim Instructor or Lifeguard

  • Giving out swimming lessons or keeping safe practices in and around swimming pools
  • Requires training

40. Fitness Trainer or Yoga Instructor

  • Learning different fitness and yoga training practices and sharing them with a group or groups of people

Job Categories Based on Location

Now that we have categorized the available jobs for college students based on the type of work, we might as well sort them based on their accessibility.

Off-Campus JobsOn-Campus JobsRemote JobsPassive Income (Earn Anywhere) Jobs
Barista or Bartender
Kitchen Staff
Tour Guide
Parking Attendant
Administrative Assistant 
Bank Teller
CashierSales AssociateDriver
Warehouse Associate
Contractual Jobs
Face-to-Face Tutoring or Teaching
Translator or Interpreter
Customer Service Representative
Errand Runner or Task Completer 
Library Attendant and Other Library Jobs
Resident Assistants
Department Assistants
Research Assistants
Teaching Assistants
Laboratory Assistants
Campus Tour Guides
Campus Landscapers 
Maintenance Personnel 
Cafeteria Personnel
Campus Tour Guide Campus Driver
Campus Gardener or Landscaper
Fitness Trainer 
Yoga Instructor
Graphic Designer 
Film Editor
Music Producer
Retail Arbiter
Marketing Manager 
Social Media Manager
Financial Trading
Customer Service Representative
Public Relations Manager
Foreign Language Teacher
IT Specialist
Web Developer
Content Creator
Freelance Writing Jobs 
Virtual Assistant
Affiliate Marketing
App Creation
Property and Equipment Rentals
Financial Trading 
Classification of College Jobs According to Location

1. On-Campus Jobs

As a working student, you most likely will prefer taking on a work-while-you-study job that you can get to easily in between classes. Your college or university will have several on-campus job offerings, and you must know where to look. On-campus positions are especially beneficial for those living in campus accommodations.

However, getting a job on campus will require you to maintain good grades in some cases. You can easily get waitlisted if someone with better academic ratings applies for the same position. Think of easy access and stable income as a reward for maintaining good academic performance.

The most common on-campus positions include the following:

  • Library Attendant and Other Library Jobs
  • Resident Assistants
  • Department Assistants
  • Research Assistants
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Laboratory Assistants
  • Campus Tour Guides
  • Campus Landscapers
  • Maintenance Personnel

2. Off-Campus Jobs

Off-campus jobs are positions you must rush to before, after, or between classes. These jobs require some time for a commute or a drive but can benefit those living outside or far from campus grounds.

Getting an off-campus job that perfectly fits your study schedule is crucial for minimizing the toll of working on studying. In many cases, off-campus jobs significantly reduce the amount of sleep and rest a student can accumulate over a school week. An off-campus job can better suit many students during a long school break.

3. Jobs You Can Do Remotely

The internet is a vast resource for the best paying remote jobs. You can make all job applications, interviews, appointments, and exchanges online. While schedules are still mandatory in some cases, your location will have minimal to zero effect on your work efficiency.

Furthermore, remote jobs only require a smartphone or an internet-enabled laptop or desktop computer, at the very least. The more specific a remote job becomes, the more tools it may require.

Here are some of the best paying remote jobs available for students:

  • Fitness Trainer
  • Yoga Instructor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Film Editor
  • Music Producer
  • Retail Arbiter
  • Drop-Shipper
  • Marketing Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Foreign Language Teacher
  • Tutor
  • Transcriptionist
  • IT Specialist
  • Programmer
  • Web Developer
  • Content Creator
  • Freelance Writing Jobs
  • Virtual Assistant

4. Passive Income Sources – Earn Everywhere You Are

One of the best ways to turn a constant profit while doing schoolwork is by generating one or more passive sources of income. Passive income can come from rental property or a business venture whose owner does not participate actively.

Passive income sources are the edifice of entrepreneurial work, and they can be highly lucrative as they gain traction in the market. However, the easiest form of passive income will require a lot of capital, something most average college students do not have. Hence, the most common route a college student can take to generate passive income is doing a lot of groundwork.

Here are some examples of jobs that generate passive income sources:

  • Affiliate Marketer
  • App Creator
  • Lessor
  • Freelance Writer
  • Financial Trader

Why Get Into College if You Don’t Have Money?

Looking at it closely, going to college is more of a privilege than a right. Government subsidies for free education typically end after high school graduation, and study grants at the university level only go to the best and brightest. More often than not, only those who can afford tertiary education go straight to college after high school.

Many high school graduates strive to get into college even without the funds because it goes a long way in preparing students for the future. It is where people intensify a sense of purpose and build a career. While it costs thick stacks of cash, a college degree is an important stepping stone towards better job opportunities with higher average pay grades.

Having a college degree paves the road to earning more on average, decreasing the chances of unemployment, experiencing better job satisfaction, and becoming fully independent. Furthermore, it opens up opportunities for having a better lifestyle and becoming a better citizen.

Aside from the promise of better living arrangements, college experiences also play a vital role in personal and social transformation. It is where individuals expand their knowledge, improve their confidence, enlarge their networks, and broaden their worldview. For these reasons, high school grads find ways to generate funds for a college degree.

Important Considerations Before Working While Studying

College experiences differ across schools, available study programs, curriculum schedules, and varying financial capabilities. Some schools have steep tuition fees, and some college courses can be more intensive than others. It is highly probable for a student to have problems with funding while taking rigorous study programs.

If you need to work for college funding, you’ll be better off looking at some important factors to consider. Thinking that a source of extra money is necessary, an efficient approach is also crucial. Check out the following considerations:

1. Flexibility

No matter the program or curriculum, a college degree is like working from nine to five, sometimes even five or six days a week. College courses have strict time constraints that can hinder you from choosing a job. You will need flexible hours, and travel times to your workplace should blend seamlessly with your schedule.

Look for a job that can fit your class schedule, or better yet, pick one that allows flexible working arrangements. Of course, having a job that offers flexible hours and working locations requires some time management skills.

2. Relevance to Field of Study

When looking for work as a student, consider taking a job that can go towards building your career path. Does it help you improve your existing skills for your particular line of work?

Your main goal is to generate extra income to pay for a college degree. However, a job relevant to your studies can improve your career and your education. It would be like getting paid to improve your skills and expand your future professional network.

3. Stock Knowledge and Employable Skill Set

It would be best also to consider the knowledge and level of skill you have and how they apply to a particular job. Know the duties and responsibilities required by any probable task, and gauge whether you can deliver on all work items. Doing this is especially important when the job you choose is unrelated to the skills you are trying to develop in college.

In many cases, some people entering their first jobs do not know anything about the tasks laid out for them. Learning only from the get-go is always possible, and new skills get honed for a possible career path. Nevertheless, having some stock knowledge and skill for a particular job is always advantageous.

4. Hourly Pay

Since your primary purpose for working while attending school is to generate income, you might as well choose a job that pays well. Do some research and consider the average hourly wages offered by other companies for similar work. Likewise, account for your travel distance to work and see whether the salary bump can more than justify your regular commute.

5. Work and Life Balance

Balancing social life, academic tasks, and healthy living can already be toxic for you as a college student. More often than not, only two of these three items take precedence.

There is almost always a lack of sleep or rest for those who can keep good grades while maintaining social exposure. Alternatively, those who sustain good academic performance and healthy living practices usually have minimal to zero social exposure.

Remember that schools design curriculums to prepare you for the real world. Hence, school activities can take up much of your time and stress you out.

When taking on a college job, you’ll compromise more healthy practices and social functions. The trick is to get a job you can enjoy and consider as part of your social or academic activities.

teen job search

How to Get a College Job

Sorely needing a source of income while studying sometimes leads to applying for odd jobs. In some cases, jumping at almost any job will sacrifice all or some of the considerations previously mentioned.

You can weigh your options carefully by using the right resources while preparing for and getting into a job hunt. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Search Diligently

There are so many choices when choosing a job as a college student, but their availability largely depends on where you live. For starters, you will need to check classified ads in your vicinity.

Often, your school paper might be your best resource for job hunting. If you don’t find any listings, switch to the ads in local newspapers, billboards, and bulletin boards. Next, expand your job search online and take advantage of social media accounts.

Step 2: Aim for the Right Role

Once you have a pool of available positions to choose from, take a closer look at the duties and responsibilities. Is each job description a good fit for you? Are you sure that you can handle and accomplish all possible tasks?

Write your resume, and ensure that its contents align with a chosen job. Remember to keep this part of the job-hunting process short, as the role you want to apply for will not be available forever.

Step 3: Stand Out From the Crowd

There will always be someone else gunning for the same open position that could perfectly fit you. You must put yourself in the limelight and inform employers that you are the right person for the job. Build your resume to offer something unique for the job.

When looking for a job, it is also important to tweak your resume to fit the position you want. Avoid using the same content on resumes for different job applications, especially when each job offer requires different roles. Also, do not forget to include an appropriate cover letter.

There’s an Ideal Job for Every College Student!

The best jobs for college students will vary greatly depending on a student’s preferences and their courses. For some, the best job is where academic experiences can be applied and propagated. Others will focus on getting almost any job, regardless of their field of study, to get by with all current living expenses.

Best Jobs for College Students FAQs

1. What Are the Disadvantages of Being a Working Student?

Aside from extra work stressing and tiring you out, you will have minimal to zero time to spend on your social practices.

2. What Are the Advantages of Working and Going to School?

Aside from having a source of income, working while studying increases your career opportunities, expands your network, and diversifies your capabilities. In addition, it gives you a venue where you can learn how to manage your expenses and schedules.

3. Does Having a Job Affect Your Grades?

Yes, absolutely, but the effects can differ among students with varying practices and course curriculums.

Some will find less time to accomplish schoolwork, driving their grades lower.

On the other hand, having a job related to your studies can improve your skills for the courses you are currently taking.

4. How Many Hours Should a College Student Work?

According to some studies, working more than 20 hours a week can harm your grades. It is important to pick a job that does not conflict with your school schedule.

5. What Is the Most Common Job for a College Student?

Sales associate positions are the most common among college students of all the available jobs for working students.

Uday Tank is a serial entrepreneur and content marketing leader. He has a wide variety of interests and enjoys writing, including marketing, productivity, business, health, diversity, and management.